Creating a better laundry alarm in Tasker

Screenshot_2013-08-05-14-20-19I have lots of small Tasker creations that I use often, but tinker with rarely, because they “just work”. One of them is my laundry alarm, which I created ages ago and haven’t really done anything with (other than using it) since- until now.

I live in a building with a laundry room in the basement, where you reserve a time slot and then use a prepaid card to pay for using the machines. I used to always reserve a time and then promptly forget I had, so I made a simple Tasker creation where I can select the time slot I reserved, and then it sets three alarms based off that- five minutes before, half way through (for moving to dryer), and then at the end. It’s not a complicated creation, but in terms of how many times it has saved me from forgetting about what I was doing, it’s pure gold.

Unfortunately, my forgetfulness has no limits. This creation might save me from forgetting the actual reservation, but it doesn’t save me from forgetting to buy more detergent, fabric softener, or a new prepaid card. I do have a shopping list that I could add things like that to, but since it’s not an immediate need the day I run out and the cards are bought elsewhere, I have a nasty habit of mentally filing it under “no rush”- and then forgetting about it.

To solve this I recently made a small extension to the laundry alarm system. Using what’s essentially a very stripped down Tasker-based todo list system, I made it so that I can select the things I need to remember next time I do laundry from a menu using the Menu action. Those items are then added to a text file which gets checked when I use the system to set alarms for a reserved time slot, and if there’s anything in it, I get a persistent AutoNotification. That way, I will get notified of any items I’m missing right when I need them.

While this is highly specific to my situation, the idea you can take from this is to use stripped down todo systems in Tasker to create these very specialized reminders. I have a much more extensive todo list system in Tasker, and adding new lists that are fully integrated into that system can be a hassle, but making these standalone, stripped down versions is fairly quick and simple- and still serves their purpose. So, if you constantly find yourself forgetting the same things in the same situation over and over, this might be a way to fix that.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.